4 Resources for Your Prison-Based Internet in a Box

Are you a prison educator or interested in prison-based education? Wish you had access to the internet based tools that your colleagues have? Think it can enhance learning and prepare those incarcerated for life in a technology driven society?

Well, you do not have access to those tools, yet (if you do please drop me an email)! We are working on it.

In the Meantime…

Have you heard of the “Internet in a Box”? Essentially it is hard drive that has as much of the internet’s content as you can fit on it. It is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. You take it the prison, plug it in, and then wala!* It is not perfect or ideal, but it is something to consider.

Here are four resources (in no particular order) you can add to your Internet in a Box. They represent a few of the resources highlighted in presentation given by Brian Walsh and Ray Rulsipher at the 2013 Washington Correctional Education Association’s conference.

HippoCampus (www.hippocampus.org)

HippoCampus.org is a free online library of sorts. It grants you access to a rich array of multimedia content across several subject areas from other sources including Khan Academy and NASA. There is material to meet different needs. And it is all free of charge. You may need to go through the individual content providers to get the content.

PhET Interactive Simulations (http://phet.colorado.edu)

PhET provides users with engaging, interactive, simulations of physical phenomena. You’re probably wondering, “WTH? Physical phenomena? Like…..what?” Visit the site and find out! All you need to know is that they bring geek talk to life with cool simulations and make learning less threatening (Also available in HippoCampuses library).

W3Schools (http://www.w3schools.com)

This a go to source for everyone interested in programming. Great for experts and newbies. It can be used to learn everything from ASP to XML. Yep that includes CSS, JavaScript, jQuery SQL and PHP. Helping incarcerated people become competent coders will potentially open up new employment options for them after release.

Brain Pickings (http://www.brainpickings.com)

This is one of those sites that people wish they knew about a long time ago. It is “a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why”. It’ll expose you to things that you’ll find quite interesting, even some things you would have thought you weren’t interested in. Among other things, this can be used to get content for classroom discussions and writing assignments.


Are there any other resources you would recommend loading on to an Internet in a Box? Please share in the comments section below!

* Setting up a Internet-in-a-Box at your local prison is doable. Once it is setup adding and removing the content from sites is straight forward. But, getting the Internet in a Box set up does take some work. Click here to read more

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